Time for the 2nd entry, covering Friday’s shows. Definitely the busiest day with 7 shows released:
Part 1 (Monday-Thursday): Blood Lad, Makai Ouji – Devils and Realist, WataMote, The World God Only Knows Season 3, Free!
Part 2 (Friday): Gin no Saji, Rozen Maiden (2013), Stella Jogakuin Kotou-ka C3-bu, Danganronpa, Servant x Service, Love Lab, Toaru Karaku no Railgun S (continues from Spring season).
Part 3 (Saturday): Gatchaman Crowds, Kiniro Mosaic, Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya, Genei wo Kakekru Taiyo
Part 4 (Sunday): Monogatari 2nd Season, Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi, Uchoten Kazoku, Genshiken Nidaime, Shingeki no Kyojin (continues from Spring season).
Gin no Saji / Silver Spoon – I’ve never laughed so hard at seeing a chicken lose its head. This show is proper slice and life. Character growth is a bit slow, but then again so it is in the real world, we have Hachiken, the city boy move to an agricultural high school. The setting feels a lot like an army camp, the colour of the clothing certainly has an effect on me as well. It has funny moments, the cast is likeable, and I just enjoy watching it.
One thing is that Hachiken is pretty spineless, which is one of the reasons he came to this school, he has unbased objections without really thinking things through, so a few moments after objecting to something he goes through with it anyway. I still want to see how they’ll handle him having to kill the pig he raised, it’s bound to be good one way or the other.
Current Score: A-, if you like slice of life shows, this is probably one of the better shows you could watch.
Rozen Maiden (2013) / Rozen Maiden Zurückspulen - This show starts slow, keeps slow, and is generally “slow”. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, as there’s no pacing issue here. The show’s pace is the one it intends to have, rather than one that’s just handled poorly. Everything in this show is about atmosphere. Episode 1 tries to sum up the original run of the manga in one episode, so of course everything feels rushed. Episodes 2-3 feel like the exposition of a film. The small directorial touches, showing us a certain scene or hovering somewhere for a moment. The small music touches… it’s just so deft and well done.
I’m enjoying this, but I’m not sure how much they’ll be able to wrap up in just this one season, and the show’s slowness might hinder it in getting enough viewers to achieve another season – the show does what is good for it artistically, but it might not be the best decision marketing wise.
Current Score: B+, watch if you’re willing to watch a show for artistic merit and atmosphere rather than a lot of action and plot-advancement.
Stella Jogakuin Kotou-ka C³-bu / Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³ - This is a pretty good show. This is a sports show with some anime trappings, not a moe-centric show, and as such it has enough conflict and character advancement to pull you into it and keep you involved. This show focuses on a high-school’s airsoft club for girls, and the new girl Yura who is too shy and just wants to have some friends. As the episodes go along Yura turns to the “Dark side” and will do anything to achieve victory, rather than settle for enjoyment. This is a good show, but it’s not the sort of show I usually enjoy so it’s on hold.
Episode 4 had psychedelic world-bending moments, but they moved away from them as the show kept on going, alas, as it might have done more to differentiate it from all the other club/sports shows, and had done more to keep me in it.
Current Score: B+, if you like sports/club shows, and so many people do, then this is certainly the show for you. It’s a solid show.
Danganronpa the Animation (Danganronpa: Kibou no Gakuen to Zetsubou no Koukousei – The Animation) – I wanted to like this show, I really like psychological thrillers that are pressure cookers, but this show just doesn’t deliver. There is next to no time to explore how characters feel or what they think, the way morality is explored in this show is simplistic and frankly leaves me queasy and unhappy,
People tell me they’re cutting all of the sequences which actually make the story worthwhile from the visual novel, but you have to realize that a story isn’t worthwhile because of the “plot”, which can usually be written on a single sheet of paper, but because of the way it’s told and everything that gives it depth. Just like Harry Potter 3 (The Prisoner of Azkaban) was a pretty good film, but the movie reduced it to just the plot (“Go from spot A to B, meet person C, the end.”). I own a Playstation Vita, so I’ll just wait for that :-/
Current Score: C+, too many visual gags, too many characters are gags – as episodes rolled by rather than have the characters become rounder, we just realized a couple more characters are actually intended as gags… play the game if you can.
Servant x Service – The best way to define this show is “How amusing,” but said in a very British way. It’s amusing because you can tell it’s trying to be funny, or amusing. It’s neither really. It’s quite dry, and some people elsewhere described it perfectly by saying “Look at that quirky character being quirky” followed by that character saying “I’m so quirky!”. The show doesn’t really sell you on the characters, their shticks are quite poor, and their motivations are rather non-existent. We also had a moment where characters grouped to try and tackle the issue another character had and then wandered off-topic for literally 13 minutes before remembering they were discussing something else.
I can’t tell you why, but I am still somewhat watching this show. The closest experience to watching this show is staring at a wall – it’s a harmless show, you don’t really have to use your brain for anything as you watch it… I can’t imagine marathoning it, but as a way to cool off from your daily travails, it might work wonders.
Current Score: C+, if you really love British comedies and/or slice of life shows that are devoid of actual slices of anyone’s life.
Love Lab – This is the epitome of cute girls doing cute stuff, but with teh funnies! Seriously, this feels like a 4-koma comic gone wild with too many skits per episode. A couple less would help the show feel less rushed. The girls are pretty cute but not very, the funny is alright but not very. It feels like more than a show full of funny and cute moments, it’s a show full of moments supposed to be really cute, funny, and/or memorable. But a good show isn’t about such standalone moments to discuss the day after at the cooler, which is what this show is going for (this show is a heaven for gif-makers, really), but the show itself is lacking otherwise. Too many things are also telegraphed and do not take even an inch off of the well-trodden and troped path, alas.
Current Score: B. If you like cute girls doing cute stuff with some funnies, watch it. It’s not my kind of show.
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S / A Certain Scientific Railgun 2nd Season – Continuing from Spring, we finally finished the Sisters Arc. It had many moments of really good action, it had some feels. It was full of characters I enjoy watching, and even though some moments were slow, doubly so because they were us seeing the same things we did in Index 1, it still felt good. Like a favourite film getting a face-lift, but not betraying your childhood memories. The new arc which will finally take us to the end of the show is here, and I bet it’d be good.
We have a lot more action, and less time spent on slice-of-life and covering supporting cast this season, but it’s kind of expected as the main arc was quite massive and dealt mostly with Misaka this time around, and you spend the first season dealing with the setup so you’ll be able to keep rolling around when the 2nd season arrives. Still, the slower moments are appreciated, and keep the fact that Misaka’s friends are as important in the story visible.
Current Score: A. Watch if you like Railgun, don’t if you don’t.
Are you watching any shows airing during Friday Any of the above shows? What do you guys think about the above shows?